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Funeral in Berlin [Paperback]

Len Deighton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2009

A ferociously cool Cold War thriller from the author of The Ipcress File.

Len Deighton’s third novel has become a classic, as compelling and suspenseful now as when it first exploded on to the bestseller lists.

In Berlin, where neither side of the wall is safe, Colonel Stok of Red Army Security is prepared to sell an important Russian scientist to the West – for a price. British intelligence are willing to pay, providing their own top secret agent is in Berlin to act as go-between. But it soon becomes apparent that behind the facade of an elaborate mock funeral lies a game of deadly manoeuvres and ruthless tactics. A game in which the blood-stained legacy of Nazi Germany is enmeshed in the intricate moves of cold war espionage…

Frequently Bought Together

Funeral in Berlin + The Ipcress File + Horse Under Water
Price For All Three: 21.07

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  • The Ipcress File 6.79
  • Horse Under Water 7.99

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; New Ed edition (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0586045805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0586045800
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 190,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in London, Len Deighton served in the RAF before graduating from the Royal College of Art (which recently elected him a Senior Fellow). While in New York City working as a magazine illustrator he began writing his first novel, The Ipcress File, which was published in 1962. He is now the author of more than thirty books of fiction and non-fiction. At present living in Europe, he has, over the years, lived with his family in ten different countries from Austria to Portugal.

Product Description


‘A most impressive book in which the tension, more like a chronic ache than a sharp stab of pain, never lets go.’ Evening Standard

‘A ferociously cool fable, even better than The Spy Who Came In From the Cold.’ New York Times

‘Brilliant, bright and wicked.’ Vogue

‘A master of fictional espionage.’ Daily Mail

‘The poet of the spy story.’ Sunday Times

‘Deighton is so far in the front of other writers in the field that they are not even in sight’ Sunday Times

‘Nobody now seriously doubts that Deighton is the most credible of all the spysmiths’ The Scotsman

From the Back Cover

"Ferociously cool, even better than 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold'."

'Then Samantha said, "Personally I think you are a doll… But Vulkan is a genius. Vulkan has a mind like a diamond while you have a mind like glass."
"Commercial diamond versus hand-cut glass," I said. "So I am typecast as the loser?"
"It's a one-horse race," said Samantha with finality.
The greatest tribute you can pay to a secret agent is to take him for a moron. All he has to do it make sure he doesn't act too exactly like one. That was my concern now.'

"Our unidentified narrator isn't some establishment bloke called James Bond who knocks back poncey cocktails and smokes custom-made cigarettes. He's one of us."

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Deighton 19 Oct 1998
By A Customer
This is one of Deighton's best; the plot is superb and full of the usual twists that are his trademark. This book is thoroughly researched and a tremendous read. I thoroughly recommend it.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books of the spy master 25 May 2001
Welcome to the dark realm of betrayals, double cross and intrigue. Nobody is who they seem to be. Epigraphs to each part are simplest chess rules - at the first chapter, for instance, it states that in chess players go one after another. Closer to the middle of the book one feels the urge to go back and check with previous rules, 'cos suddenly they are important! The period and topic is thoroughly researched - even from my post-"Empire of Evil" background. Pity there are only 5 stars - I would give more to this book! If you do not like spy novels - try this one. I know - I hooked my girlfriend via this novel (she used to consider spy novels as an inferior sub-literature before :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ah! English... 28 July 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Another Len Deighton novel that I read until the book developed 'dog-ears' on my Kindle and what a wonderful re-read I have had.
Once again the hero narrates the storyline...once agin in the book he has no name...
This is a wonderful book, I enjoyed it the first time around and i must have read it now more times than I have fingers and toes, could have needed to be 'Jake the Peg'.
From seeing the film of the same name and seeing and hearing the voices of the actors playing the characters, it's no doubt that Sir Michael Caine was perfect for the role that became Harry Palmer in the films, whilst reading I hear his voice everytime the narrator retorts to someone and I know that Len deighton originally had no one in mind as the person to be the main character and allows you to feel that the book is being narrated by Len Deighton himself. Now not many people know that!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Amazon bargain! 9 April 2011
I'm a long-standing Len Deighton reader so I was really pleased to find this particular novel on the Amazon web site at very low cost. it arrived in no time at all, in excellent condition - what a bargain!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Cynical Spy 17 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Stok waited while the grey-haired one closed the door behind her. Then he said, 'Let's stop quarrelling, shall we?'
'You mean personally?' I said. 'Or are you speaking on behalf of the Soviet Union?'"

When Len Deighton's Cold War spy stories appeared in the first half of the 1960s they were welcomed as painting a more realistic picture of the world of espionage than did the fantasy world of James Bond. Whether it is actually a true picture or not, Deighton certainly makes you FEEL as if you are getting a glimpse of the real spy world.

In my view, Deighton's first four spy novels are by far his best. These are: "The Ipcress File"; "Horse Under Water"; "Funeral in Berlin"; and "Billion Dollar Brain". I feel that after this period Deighton went downhill, losing the lightness of touch and sharpness that characterise these four books.

Three of these four were also transferred to the big screen: "The Ipcress File" and "Funeral in Berlin" are quite good films; the film version of "Billion Dollar Brain" is best forgotten.

It has been rightly pointed out that the nameless narrator (who becomes Michael Caine's "Harry Palmer" in the films) is reminiscent of Raymond Chandler's private detective, Philip Marlowe, but transferred from the world of crime to the world of espionage. The two characters certainly both have the same mixture of wise-cracking humour, cynicism, sharpness of mind, and integrity. (Though with Deighton's character there is less emphasis on the last of these - his job involves more deviousness than Marlowe's.)

The other "realistic" spy story writer who came along at about the same time as Deighton was John Le Carre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Spy Novel 21 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Espionage is about relationships and how to develop trust and this now somewhat elderly story comes out with top marks. Particularly enjoyable is the relationship between the lead character (Harry Palmer in the movies) and the Soviet Army officer Colonel Stok. The story has credibility and could be the basis of a more contemporary situation where secrets need smuggling across borders, a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not finished 6 Feb 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Became lost having read about 50 % of the book so I am hoping to get on track soon and be rewarded with a good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than le Carre 17 April 2012
By Blyth
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Enjoyable. Different. Interesting for me. I was around in the 50s and sixties. It is strange to read of some products being considered as something of a luxury when they are considered pretty naff now.

I found the story more engaging than some of the le Carre books I've read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and deep
This is Len Deighton’s second of four spy novels with a nameless hero from Burnley, Lancashire, who in the film versions is called Harry Palmer (HP). Read more
Published 2 months ago by P. A. Doornbos
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
Readable but somewhat overdone (references to Chess) and stylistically dated. His war-time books such as Goodbye Mickey Mouse are much better.
Published 5 months ago by CB
2.0 out of 5 stars funeral in Berlin
I had just finished a couple of Gerald Seymour books and have now finished all of his books. I was a bit browned off at that and so I thought another espionage story would fit... Read more
Published 15 months ago by shirley mountford
4.0 out of 5 stars Cynical, knowledgeable and cool
Synopsis: a complicated book about the possible defection of a Soviet scientist, with the hand-over by sub-contracted secret agents taking place in Berlin. Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2010 by Henk Beentje
4.0 out of 5 stars Am I reviewing the story or the book?
Cracking good read. Fast paced and timeless characters. Especially enjoyable to read whilst on a trip to modern day Berlin.
Published on 9 Mar 2009 by Mr. Andrew Cheesman
5.0 out of 5 stars Synopsis
A ferociously cool Cold War thriller from the author of The Ipcress File. Len Deighton's third novel has become a classic, as compelling and suspenseful now as when it first... Read more
Published on 21 Sep 2007 by peter_pan
2.0 out of 5 stars Gave Up After 130 Pages
I'm must have missed the allure of this book, as critics and Amazon reviewers alike seem to like this 'classic' "un-spy" type of spy novel. Read more
Published on 12 April 2005 by Richie M
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